Yemen's Saleh signs power transfer deal

By REUTERS
November 23, 2011 18:38

DUBAI - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a Gulf initiative on Wednesday to hand over power to his deputy as part of a proposal to end months of protests that have pushed the Arab country to the brink of civil war.

Saudi state television broadcast live images of Saleh signing the accord in the presence of Saudi King Abdullah and Crown Prince Nayef. Yemeni opposition officials signed the accord after Saleh.

It was the fourth attempt to wrap up a power transfer accord that Saleh backed out of on three previous occasions at the last minute, fueling turmoil that has bolstered al-Qaida militants next door to Saudi Arabia, the world's No. 1 oil producer.

Earlier, Saleh told UN chief Ban Ki-moon he will come to New York for medical treatment immediately after signing the deal.

The UN secretary-general told reporters the Yemeni leader told him of the trip during a telephone conversation on Tuesday.


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